2021’s Brendan Martin cup winners Meath could almost field an entire team with their illustrious list of TG4 Ladies Gaelic Football All Star nominations, with 14 players amongst the contenders for an award.
Runners up Dublin have the second highest number with nine entries, closely trailed by Cork’s seven, Mayo’s six and the remaining nine selections compiled from the counties of Donegal, Armagh, Galway, Kerry and Waterford.
The ultimate Team of the Year ceremony is to unfold on Saturday November 13th at the Bonnington Hotel, where the Player of the Year across all three divisions will also be announced, but there are many tough calls to deliberate between in the elapsing time.
With only one woman picked from the three names shortlisted (with the exception of midfield where two will be elected), much has been made of the allocation of positions on the field given the probability of even the most exceptional of those involved in the game to narrowly miss out.
How is Vicki Wall &Aimee Mackin vying for the same position.IMO 2 of the best forwards in the game at the moment.Shame to see one of them will lose out on an allstar. Vicki Wall doesn't play 13 has been half foward/midfielder all year. Numbers on back of jeserys count for nothing https://t.co/1bYT14paFK— Cora Staunton (@duckie15) September 30, 2021
For instance, Meath powerhouse and All Ireland Final Player of the Match Vikki Wall ranks alongside the Senior Championship’s top scorer in Aimee Mackin at right corner forward, where only one will emerge triumphant come November.
Mackin, who wrapped up an enormous 4-23 in the competition this year was previously bestowed the title of Players’ Player of the Year in 2020, alongside side her Goal of the Year prize and her third All Star. This time out she’s joined by teammate Lauren McConville in the line-up, facing stiff competition in the centre back role with Aoibhín Cleary and Nicole McLaughlin also in the hunt.
Also in the running through the defensive positions is Meath captain Shauna Ennis, joined by her county companion’s Emma Troy, Mary Kate Lynch, Katie Newe, Aoibheann Leahy Aoibhín Cleary.
Names such as Erika O’Shea of The Rebels, Sky Blue corner back Leah Caffrey, Donegal’s Evelyn McGinley also feature, while Monica McGuirk, Ciara Trant and Dearbhla Gower are to battle it out between the sticks.
Accustomed Team of the Year veterans Lauren Magee, Rachel Kearns, Lyndsey Davey and Carla Rowe are in the conversation too, as are newcomers Emma Duggan and Hannah Tyrrell who took the championship by storm.
Evidently selectors will have a headache in trying to decide who is to rise to the fore, but all will be revealed next month.
2021 TG4 All Star nominations:
Monica McGuirk (Meath)*, Ciara Trant (Dublin), Dearbhla Gower (Galway)
Right corner back:
Emma Troy (Meath), Martha Byrne (Dublin), Saoirse Lally (Mayo)
Mary Kate Lynch (Meath), Róisín Phelan (Cork), Evelyn McGinley (Donegal)
Left corner back:
Leah Caffrey (Dublin), Katie Newe (Meath), Eimear Meaney (Cork)
Right half back:
Erika O’Shea (Cork), Tamara O’Connor (Mayo), Aoibheann Leahy (Meath)
Aoibhín Cleary (Meath), Lauren McConville (Armagh), Nicole McLaughlin (Donegal)
Left half back:
Melissa Duggan (Cork)*, Orlagh Nolan (Dublin), Shauna Ennis (Meath)
Lauren Magee (Dublin), Jennifer Dunne (Dublin), Sinéad Cafferky (Mayo), Máire O’Shaughnessy (Meath), Hannah Looney (Cork), Orlagh Lally (Meath)
Right half forward:
Hannah Tyrrell (Dublin), Olivia Divilly (Galway), Orla Byrne (Meath)
Rachel Kearns (Mayo)*, Lyndsey Davey (Dublin)*, Stacey Grimes (Meath)
Left half forward:
Niamh O’Sullivan (Meath), Carla Rowe (Dublin)*, Sarah Rowe (Mayo)
Right corner forward:
Aimee Mackin (Armagh), Vikki Wall (Meath), Sadhbh O’Leary (Cork)
Emma Duggan (Meath), Shauna Howley (Mayo), Katie Murray (Waterford)
Left corner forward:
Eimear Scally (Cork), Geradline McLaughlin (Donegal), Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh (Kerry)
*(denotes 2019 TG4 All Star)